We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney Wood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitney, what makes you happy? Why?
I love the problem-solving process of designing a new piece. The magic for me is in the balancing act between material limitations, functionality, and form. In contrast, I’m discovering that production is a challenge for me because I hate to be pulled away from creating new designs! I’m hoping to move towards more “one-of-a-kind” pieces in the future so that I can keep doing what I love. Outside of working, I love to spend time outdoors with my family! Camping, hiking, skiing, biking… I feel so lucky to live in the mountains surrounded by beauty. Having grown up in Kansas, I never take a day here for granted.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Most important to me, is that my work doesn’t look like anyone else’s. I want my work to be uniquely different from anything on the market. Why make something if it already exists in the world? I am constantly inspired by the ever-changing landscape where I live– the mountains of Colorado. My mountain abode with wood-beamed ceilings, large windows, and a crackling fire in the stone fireplace informs my designs. Essential to my aesthetic is the warmth of the materials that I use. I am a modernist in the sense that I like to expose the natural beauty of the wood that I source. For that reason, I only use all natural finishes. There are no stains, polyurethanes or resins in my studio! Only natural oils and waxes. Oddly, I don’t really consider myself a woodworker. However, attending art school, I have always been around the wood shop. I was the “shop tech” in grad school and taught 3-D design. Conveniently, I got my grandfather’s old woodworking tools and have been putting them to good use ever since. So I really just stumbled into woodworking! Having a small business has not been easy. I dream of the day that I can hire out all of the admin work! And the day my kids go back to school so I have more time to work (thanks COVID)! However, I have learned a lot and I am so grateful for the small-business community. From what I’ve learned on my unusual path, as cliche as it sounds, I will be teaching my children to follow their heart and not the “normal” path that society instills. Take risks!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would probably take them on a tour of some of my favorite places across the state. Starting with driving independence pass to the Aspen Art Museum– the best museum in Colorado! Followed by donuts in Glenwood Springs at Sweet Coloradough. I’d paddle board at twin lakes and hike Mt. Elbert. We’d have happy hour at Outer Range Brewery, and watch the sunset from our tent in Montezuma, Colorado. In my neck of the woods, we’d get brunch at Blackbird Cafe in Kittredge and dinner at Westbound and Down.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Although risk-adverse in nature, my husband is always supports my crazy ideas!
From the Hip Photography Xin and Xin Photography